Despite rumbles of protest from certain sectors of the industry, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has confirmed that Friday will be a coordinated global release day for new music, starting from summer this year.
The main purpose is to create ‘a sense of occasion’ around the release of new music, which is easily lost in the era of advance streaming, Spotify windowing and plain old-fashioned piracy.
Territories including Australia and Germany already have Friday as a release date but the likes of the US and UK will now be aligned.
IFPI CEO Frances Moore said: “In today’s globalised world, it makes no sense for new music to be released to fans on different days of the week. At the same time, we view this as a tremendous opportunity to breathe new life back into the release of music. Friday has a compelling logic to it, at the start of the weekend when fans most want to listen to and buy music, which is why it has been chosen as the day”.
The IFPI is insistent that the decision followed lengthy consultations with the industry and artists, despite Beggars Boss Martin Mills implying otherwise whilst speaking at an ERA conference recently.
As reported here in the Guardian, Mills said: “Whilst I acknowledge the needs of a digital world for co-ordination, it seems to me to be crazy to throw away one of the trading week’s two peaks, and the ability to restock and rectify errors before the week’s second peak”.
Mills continued: “It astounds me that the major labels are not listening to their customers, their interface with their artists’ fans. I fear their consultation has been a charade, and the market leaders were always going to push this through. I fear this move will also lead to a market in which the mainstream dominates, and the niche, which can be tomorrow’s mainstream, is further marginalised. I fear it will further cement the dominance of the few – and that that is exactly what it is intended to do”.
According to the IFPI, consumer research by TNS across seven markets, drawing in more than 7,000 consumers, showed Friday and Saturday as the most preferred days for new music release among consumers who expressed an opinion, with more than two thirds of those with a preference (68%) selecting Friday or Saturday.
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